Ian shares news of this fundraising and awareness raising event. Ed
The cousin of missing Isle of Wight teenager Damien Nettles is set to walk 52km (32 miles) from Chale to Cowes on 5th May to raise awareness of a new law and raise funds for the charity Missing People.
Damien was 16 years old when he went missing from Cowes following a night out in November 1996.
Isle of Wight Challenge
Sophie Greenhalgh, who was 12 at the time of Damien’s disappearance, is taking part in the walk as part of this year’s Isle of Wight Challenge. Missing People supporters all over the UK are choosing to ‘Walk For’ a missing loved one; the charity provides personalised resources and support with raising awareness and fundraising.
“Ever since that day our family have struggled with the empty space in our lives, all the questions and theories surrounding Damien’s disappearance.
“I decided to do the Isle of Wight Challenge because Damien and his family lived on the Island at the time of his disappearance. I will be walking from Chale to Cowes where Damien was last sighted.”
Raising awareness for Damien’s Law
As well as raising money, Sophie is also trying to raise awareness of a new law, dubbed ‘Damien’s Law’, that seeks to improve how missing persons’ cases are risk assessed and managed. An online petition to introduce the law has already attracted more than 4,000 signatures.
“I want to bring awareness to people that children go missing every day. It shatters families and lives beyond belief.”
“One day of hard endurance for me is nothing compared to what Damien’s mum, dad, brother and sisters cope with every day.”
Show your support
Sophie’s page can be found on the JustGiving Website.
While the petition to bring Damien’s Law into effect, can be found here
Missing People publicity coordinator Ian Roullier said:
“Our helpline is here at any time to support people who are missing or thinking of going missing and their loved ones, like Sophie, who are left behind. People can call or text us in confidence on our free phone number, 116 000. Lines are open 24 hours a day.”
Get in touch
If anyone has any information regarding Damien, they can contact Missing People anonymously by calling 116 000, or by emailing [email protected] or can call the police on 101.
The charity’s helpline is operated by staff and volunteers.
It is free to contact and open 24 hours a day thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Sightings and information about any missing person can also be given anonymously through the Missing People Website.